@UCSD: An Alumni Publication

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A Second Geisel
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Cool Music in Hot Iceland
Digging in the Digital Domain
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Up Front May 2007: Volume 4, Number 2

UC San Diego was never a place for the fainthearted. And it still isn’t. It challenges its students to think across disciplines, to build their own majors, to be inventive and creative in classrooms and labs, and generally to dare question tired formulas and established intellectual norms.

A day could start on a surfboard, and end in a lab creating the software program Pascal. Begin in a genetics lab, and finish in an acting studio. Or start in an engineering class, and conclude in an archaeology seminar on a lost DaVinci mural.

UC San Diego expected much and delivered much.

Consequently, UCSD alumni have gone into the world, challenged accepted norms and become innovators and game changers across a wide spectrum of careers.

The cover story of this May issue of the magazine, “New Frontiers,” is an illustration of UCSD alumni applying their rigorous and challenging education to expand the boundaries of satellite communication. The story of ViaSat, co-founded by Mark Miller, Warren ’81, and Steve Hart, M.A. ’80, is about risk-taking at the highest level, no pun intended. Higher risk than most of us are probably willing to take. It tells the story of their strategy to enter into a new market, and provide fast, reliable access to the Internet for underserved subscribers across North America. It details the years of experimenting, planning and constructing the satellite; and then finally the nail-biting hours leading up to the launch of their ViaSat-1 from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. It is an exciting story, about challenging accepted wisdom, and because of that, a story that should strike a chord in the heart of every UCSD alum.

The feature on POLARBEAR, UCSD’s new telescope peering into the beginnings of the universe is a reminder of the University’s cutting-edge research that has propelled your alma mater from a former dilapidated Marine base overlooking the ocean to its current position as one of the preeminent public universities in the world. The telescope, situated in Chile’s Atacama Desert, 16,000 feet above sea level, is designed to peer back to the beginning of time, and study traces of the universe’s earliest light. These UCSD scientists are not only working on the frontiers of astrophysics but, located in one of the highest astronomical observatories in the world, must don supplemental oxygen tanks while carrying out their research.

At UCSD Alumni, we think UC San Diego’s distinctive brand of education and the values it promotes in its students are worth celebrating. That is why, each year, we proudly celebrate the University during an Alumni Weekend that brings out the best of our shared values. Whether it is coming back to celebrate our five honorees at the Alumni Celebration, partying with family and friends at the ever popular Family Night at Birch Aquarium, or networking at the Career Boost Camp, this weekend will remind you that UCSD is not just a place but a state of mind. One that remains with you in the years after you graduate. One that makes alumni proud to be part of the Triton family.

Now that is something worth celebrating.

RAYMOND HARDIE, Editor

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A c c o l a d e s

Excuse this brief interruption while we take a moment to congratulate ourselves. The UCSD Alumni Association was recognized in three different categories by the Council for the Advance­ment and Support of Education (CASE) at the CASE District VII conference in San Francisco, in November.

The Association won three Awards of Excellence for its creative use of technology, new programs and general interest magazine. It received a gold medal award for its innovative “AlumnIdea” crowdsourcing microsite that allows alumni to give interactive feedback; a gold medal award for the “Discovery Ambassador Initiative,” a program that reconnects alumni with the University; and a silver medal award for the magazine, which we hope you are happily perusing.